Former FCT Minister, Mohammed Got a House as Bribe – Witness

A prosecution witness, Ishaya Dauda, Monday, told an FCT High Court in Gudu that former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, received a house as bribe in course of his duty as Minister.
Answering a question from Mohammed’s counsel, Chris Uche, Dauda said that in the course of investigations, no government money was traced to Mohammed’s account, though, but Mohammed got the house located at Asokoro, Abuja, as bribe.
Dauda is a Senior Detective Superintendent with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mohammed is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency on a six-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets and graft to the tune of N864m.
The witness admitted that the former Minister was arraigned based on an intelligent report by the commission and not on a petition.
He said though the work of the commission was based on petitions and intelligence reports, the petition against the Minister came first, adding that investigation had not been concluded in respect of the petition.
Upon further cross examination on the source of the intelligence report, the witness said he would not disclose the source.
Earlier, while being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Ben Ikani, Dauda said that the defendant received a property at Asokoro as a bribe from Aso Savings and Loans.
Dauda alleged that the former Minister on the request of Aso Savings, had relocated Abuja Urban Mass Transit from their plot at Mpape area along Kubwa express, Abuja to another location.
The witness said that Aso Savings and Loans Ltd had stood as guarantor to Abuja Urban Mass Transit when they obtained a loan of N1.8bn from the former Oceanic Bank for the acquisition of new buses.
He said Abuja Urban Mass Transit had defaulted in repayment of the loan which led to Aso Savings being made to clear the debt.
“For Aso Savings to be able to recover their money from Abuja Mass Transit, they requested from the then FCT Minister to relocate Abuja Urban Mass Transit to another place.
“This was to enable Aso Savings and Loans Ltd take over the land. They now bought the Asokoro property for the defendant in appreciation,” the witness said.
He said that to confirm that, they had invited the former Managing Director of Aso Savings, Hassan Usman, and the former Executive Director, Marketing, Maimuna Aliyu, to make statements.
He said they also invited the seller of the said Asokoro property, Ifeanyi Ihejirika, and Ogechi Nwaduke, who also gave statements in their office.
Dauda said that when the defendant was questioned about the property, he initially refused to make statement.
Other properties allegedly belonging to the former Minister which he did not declare in the Asset Declaration Form given by the EFCC include a property at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja, and a plot of land in Kaduna.
So far, the prosecution tendered the statements made by the defendant to the EFCC in court which were admitted and marked as exhibit A
The EFCC Asset Declaration Form was also tendered and admitted, and marked as Exhibit B
The case was adjourned till Feb. 12, 2018, for continuation of the trial.

Author: News Editor

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